Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "A Breath Upon the Waters"

This poem came out of the December 7, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from the_vulture, with some very thoughtful water symbolism about aikido.  The poem was first cosponsored by the_vulture and then finished from the general fund as directed by an audience poll.

I pounced on this prompt because I just so happened to have an urban fantasy story in progress, "Melting Heaven," featuring an angel and a saint and the use of aikido.  People often get stuck on the idea of strength as something that has to be rigid and forceful, but it is possible to wield power without clutching at it.  That is the strength of aikido ... and of a saint.  So here it is in a poem, two strands of thought twining together to tell a story.

A Breath Upon the Waters

A saint's birth
is as sudden and unexpected as meltwater,
as potent as a flash flood,
as shocking as an angel falling from the sky.

When Chamuel, Angel of Tolerance,
tumbled out of heaven into an apartment building
no one could have anticipated what would happen.

A saint's touch is tender as the rain,
washing the sand from under a fort's foundation,
cupping the stones of the river in gentle hands
even as it wears away their resistance.

When Clark took the broken angel into his hands,
neither of them realized
that it would cement a bond already present,
their life's work run together like two rivers.

A saint's word
is the Word of God
and the song of an angel,
spilled forth as a breath upon the waters
to settle the troubled waves.

When Clark and Chamuel finally figured out
what had gone wrong with heaven
that it should be dropping angels out of the thinning air,
they knew they had their work cut out for them,
but hardly knew where to begin.

A saint's path is a circle,
ripples emerging from a flung stone,
watermarks on pale parchment,
turning and turning whatsoever it touches.

When Clark and Chamuel found the vanquished bigots
stumbling back to them, the obvious thing to do
was to welcome them -- as easy a thing
as aikido and angel song and water running downhill
to reveal the proper course.

A saint's soul is as open as a whirlpool,
drawing the power in and around and down,
using it without holding it,
sending it out over the wide waters of the world.

When Clark and Chamuel set forth to fix
what was broken in the Heavens and the Earth,
they knew that the opposition
would never even see it coming.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, writing

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